American Airlines and Southwest Airlines reported profits for the three months ending in September, reflecting the industry’s recovery despite the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus. But the airlines aren’t entirely out of the woods: Both would have reported losses were it not for federal pandemic aid.
Still, the financial results show that the industry is on the mend as travel steadily resumes and both American and Southwest said they expected to do even better in the final three months of the year, lifted by corporate, international and holiday travel.
“We made good progress in our pandemic recovery in third quarter 2021, and I expect more in fourth quarter,” Gary Kelly, Southwest’s chief executive, said in a statement. “I’m very excited about the demand recovery and our prospects for 2022.”